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Headlines

Author: Juris Pētersons
01/09/2016

A good headline is like a Red Bull. It gives you wings. A bad title will drown your story before it sees daylight. In which case, if you're lucky, the Internet will not notice it (and won't make fun of it).

Today, finding and consuming information is impacted by speed. Reading titles is the fastest way to go. After the heading the reader will decide – to delve into the content, or forget about it. The speed dictates a number of restrictions for titles – form, size, tone. In every case choices will have to be made and decisions taken – all you may wish to cram into the title, will not be possible, if we also want  someone to read it (and understand and, where appropriate, respond).

A headline for the news media is like an advertising slogan or motto for your brand. A good title identifies the most interesting content, creates a buzz and interest, it leaves the reader concerned and curious. This gives a reason to read on. Headline sells your story, or – destroys it.

A couple of suggestions for controlling the heading: be simple and straightforward; do not be afraid to ask questions in the title; include only meaning information; be moderate in embellishment; do not lie.

Some of the headlines over the past year that we, the JazzCom team, have noticed – because they were either good or bad. Decide for yourself which is which:

In 1657 the French mathematician Pascal wrote in a letter: "I have made this longer than usual, because I have not had time to make it shorter." We wish you to find time for accurate headlines and good stories – or ask us to do it for you.

Juris Petersons
Jazz Communications

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